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Pediatric Medication Safety in the Emergency Department

Benjamin L, Frush K, Shaw K, et al. AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS Committee on Pediatric Emergency Medicine, AMERICAN COLLEGE OF EMERGENCY PHYSICIANS Pediatric Emergency Medicine Committee, EMERGENCY NURSES ASSOCIATION Pediatric Emergency Medicine Committee. Pediatric Medication Safety in the Emergency Department. Pediatrics. 2018;141(3):e20174066


Pediatric patients cared for in emergency departments (EDs) are at high risk of medication errors for a variety of reasons. A multidisciplinary panel was convened by the Emergency Medical Services for Children program and the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Pediatric Emergency Medicine to initiate a discussion on medication safety in the ED. Top opportunities identified to improve medication safety include using kilogram-only weight-based dosing, optimizing computerized physician order entry by using clinical decision support, developing a standard formulary for pediatric patients while limiting variability of medication concentrations, using pharmacist support within EDs, enhancing training of medical professionals, systematizing the dispensing and administration of medications within the ED, and addressing challenges for home medication administration before discharge.


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